Research Assistant Job in Kenya - NGO

International Potato Center
Research Assistant (Food Analysis)
Ref.: 2015/003/NRS/SSA
The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a Research Assistant to provide technical support in the areas of analytical chemistry and food microbiology in sweetpotato roots and leaves and their processed products. 

The candidate should have experience in food safety, food microbiology and analytical chemistry. 

The candidate must also have an eye for detail, an ability to work on their own initiative, excellent organizational and communication skills and a positive attitude.

The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research organization with a global mandate to conduct research on potatoes, sweetpotatoes, Andean root and tuber crops, and sustainable management of natural resources.

The Position: The Research Assistant will be based in Nairobi, Kenya at the CIP Regional office. The position will be part of CIP’s new food science team operating in the Biosciences eastern and southern Africa (BecA) ILRI Hub and will report to the CIP Food Scientist.
The successful candidate will have: A Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology or Biological Sciences with at least 1 year work experience in analytical chemistry or food microbiology.

Responsibilities will include, but not limited to:
  • Assist in collection of samples, undertaking swabs, media preparation, sample preparation, plating, plate reading and waste disposal.
  • To carry out microbiological testing of production samples and raw materials in accordance with site testing regimes / sampling plans in a timely manner
  • Pathogen analysis using primarily traditional and other various pathogen detection methods.
  • Accurately documenting, recording and reviewing data using computer software systems.
  • To carry out environmental microbiological testing and validations
  • To assist with follow up and close out of all adverse / out of specification results
  • To assist our partners in the reporting and trending of testing results to the technical team, production and customers as required.
  • To participate in providing support in the site procedure audits
  • Work with the Food Scientists and Research Associate to ensure implementation, maintenance and improvements in the laboratory quality system procedures, testing methods and records
  • Assist with basic analytical chemistry analysis such as operation of HPLC, UV-VIS, NIRS, GCMS, LCMS;
  • Maintenance and daily verification of laboratory instrumentation.
  • Ensure observation of good laboratory practice including drafting risk assessments and surveillance of laboratory users’ activity;
Conditions: This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at CIP’s Nairobi Office. 

The position is on a 2 years fixed term contract and may be renewed subject to availability of funding.

 Applicants should apply through CIP’s Job Opportunities website (, including a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience.

 Screening will begin on 30 June 2015 and will continue until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. 

Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply